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An American Kidnapping


An American Kidnapping

Ta-Nehisi Coates

I took some time this weekend to re-read Jennifer Gonnerman’s piece on the odyssey of Kalief Browder. I wanted to understand how, precisely, it happened that a boy was snatched off the streets of New York, repeatedly beaten, and subjected to the torture of solitary confinement, and yet no one was held accountable.


A chilling and necessary article. The link to Gonnerman’s piece in the New Yorker is also well worth reading as it details the fact that this young man’s mind and heart was struggling with the daily systemic “isms” of western “civilization” that is struggling to be born in spite of the legacy of all of the ‘excepts’ in American ‘exceptionalism’.

I’d make a connection to the institutionalization of ‘planned obsolescence’. It is NOT a benign economic instrument but rather a truly evil torquing of the mind that is tantamount to the devil’s bargain of playing god - all the while situating life in a form of satanic suspended animation. It is worth considering as one goes through the day the challenge of identifying every aspect shaped by the idea of disposability that permeates the things we use and ways we ‘go about doing things’. It informs the ‘cultural boundaries’ of acceptability. In this case culture is not your friend but an ingenious prison the key to which is held by each of us - while the devil laughs his ass off.